This year’s Dementia Action Week runs from 16-22 May with a theme of diagnosis and to encourage people to ‘act on dementia’.
Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia. This means that almost all of us knows someone affected by dementia – a family member, customer or member of staff, – and it doesn’t just affect old people.
As a Dementia Friend in the Private Client Team at Hay & Kilner, it is important for me to be aware of both the barriers and the benefits in obtaining a diagnosis of dementia, together with assisting those who already live with it.
Dementia is progressive and it doesn’t happen overnight but at some point in the future, if you are living with dementia, you could have difficulty making important decisions and Dementia Action Week provides the perfect opportunity to act, and start the conversation.
Although these conversations can be difficult, it is important to take steps sooner rather than later – make choices and do not take chances. By doing this, the people in your life are able to better understand your choices and preferences.
It is possible that whilst living with dementia you are fully capable of making decisions for yourself. Being forgetful is not an indicator or precursor of dementia – we can all be forgetful, and we all make decisions that, to some, may be considered strange but this does not mean you have lost capacity and only a qualified medical practitioner can determine that.
But what happens if capacity is lost? Day-to-day tasks such as managing your bank accounts, maintaining your property, and paying your bills, along with decisions about your healthcare and treatment, may become more difficult. Have you considered who would do the decision making?
By making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), you can ensure that you have trusted people in place to make those decisions for you if needed.
You can appoint one or more attorneys who will be able to make these decisions on your behalf and they could be family members, friends, or professionals.
There are two types of LPA for:
You can have one LPA or both and have the same or different attorneys for each LPA. You can also appoint replacement attorneys if your original attorney is unable to act.
An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. The cost of registering each LPA is £82.
LPAs are not the only way to plan for the future. It is also important to consider putting in place a Will if you do not already have one or reviewing your Will to ensure it is in line with your current wishes.
For further information or advice in relation to Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact Tom Bridge on 0191 232 8345 or email email@example.com